Australian Council on Children and the Media

Simpson’s Movie, The

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Not recommended under 10, PG to 13 (Violence, sexual references, substance use, themes )

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Simpson’s Movie, The
  • a review of Simpson’s Movie, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 July 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not recommended due to violence, sexual references, substance use and themes
Children 10-13 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, sexual references, substance use and themes
Children over 13 OK with or without parental guidance

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Simpson’s Movie, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild animated violence, nudity and drug use, Sexual references, coarse language and themes
Length 87 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In the country town of Springfield, Lisa Simpson (voice of Yeardley Smith) embarks on a campaign to rid the local lake of pollution.  However, her father, Homer (Dan Castellaneta) decides that the rules do not apply to him and proceeds to dump a load of pig manure into the recently cleansed lake.  What ensues is a natural disaster of toxic proportions causing the government to isolate the town by enclosing it into a large glass dome.  Naturally, the townspeople are less than happy and the Simpson family barely escape their wrath.  After much soul-searching, Marge (Julie Kauner) decides to return to Springfield in an attempt to save it from being permanently wiped out.  Homer eventually follows and he and Bart (Nancy Cartwright) manage to save the town.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Environmental disaster, Animal cruelty, Substance abuse

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a significant amount of animated violence in this movie including:

  • A mouse (from the “Itchy & Scratchy” cartoon) spears a cat with a flag whilst they are on the moon then proceeds to beat his helmet in until the cat’s eyes explode.
  • The “president” of mice from the same cartoon presses a nuclear bomb button to launch warheads to the moon to destroy the cat.  The cat swallows the warheads and explodes, spreading body parts everywhere.
  • When a cartoon “Green Day” band mention the environment at a concert, the townspeople throw rocks and rubbish at them and their pontoon until it sinks.  The drummer is hit with a rock in his groin.
  • Homer ‘strangles’ Bart more than once
  • A bully hits a boy in the head so that he falls to the ground.
  • Bart repeatedly shoots Homer with an air gun while Homer is carrying a load of bricks.
  • Homer pulls a pig’s tail to make him squeal.
  • An old woman washes her cats on a washboard at the side of the lake.
  • With his car, Homer purposely runs over an old man holding a sign near the lake and later reverses over another person.
  • Bart jabs a mutant squirrel in its many eyes with a stick.
  • A child is bounced off a seesaw and flung into the wall of the glass dome.
  • A resident is squashed flat under the rim of the dome.
  • Birds fly into the wall of the dome and get squashed.  Cats are waiting below for them to fall down.
  • The police shoot at the dome to break it and the bullets ricochet off it back into them, injuring them.
  • The townspeople stick Homer in the backside with a pitchfork and throw an electric saw at his head.  As he disappears down a hole in the sandpit, they scratch and claw at his head.  One person fires an arrow at it, which lodges into his scalp.
  • Lisa hits Bart in the face, knocking him down.
  • The Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) throws his binoculars at his second in charge.  They miss, hit their vehicle, bounce back, hit the wall of the dome, then bounce off to hit him in the head.
  • Homer has repeated accidents which result in injury, including nailing himself to the roof through the leg, falling through the roof, or falling on his head whilst riding a motorcycle inside a sphere.
  • A man strikes the wall of the dome with a large fish and an elephant is encouraged to run into it to try and break it.  The elephant collapses.
  • On a video game, a walrus shoots a dancing penguin.  The penguin is forced through a window with the force of the shot.
  • A polar bear attacks a dog.
  • During a vision, Homer is repeatedly hit by trees.  His body is then dissected into small pieces before being put back together again.
  • Homer drives sled dogs with a whip all day and into the night.  When he releases them from their harnesses they attack him.
  • Homer has an accident with a wrecking ball and is beaten up by it.
  • Bart and Lisa kick each other in their sleep.
  • Mo and Barney throw a Molotov cocktail to each other.
  • Homer hits a security guard in the face.
  • Townspeople throw rocks at Homer.
  • A bomb disposal robot shoots itself in the head to commit suicide.
  • A victimised child takes revenge on bullies by beating them up with a plank of wood.
  • A resident is killed by a falling shard of glass.
  • Maggie drops a rock on to the Head of the EPA as he threatens to shoot Homer and Bart with a shotgun.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • A beam of light descends on Grandpa Simpson who then goes into a prophetic outburst and ends up having a seizure on the floor of the church.
  • Homer gives himself an electric shock with a bug zapper in the lake.
  • A squirrel transforms into a mutant with many eyes after jumping into the polluted lake.
  • The newsreader’s face suddenly sags (due to a shortage of Botox) and he pulls the excess skin up behind his neck and fastens it tight with a peg.
  • Maggie at first, then the rest of the family, including their house, are sucked down a sinkhole in the sandpit.
  • Homer has an hallucination in an Inuit’s hut that involves humanoid trees, multiple images of Homer falling down stairs, and Homer becoming disembodied as his head melts.
  • A large image of an Inuit woman appears in the Aurora Borealis guiding Homer as to which direction he should go.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • As previously mentioned, there are many times where children are strangled, beaten, or hurt.
  • Bart has an accident on his skateboard and is flung into the window of a café.
  • Bart is handcuffed by the police and left restrained to a pole naked for the rest of the day.  Passers-by tease him.
  • A pig is threatened with a saw.
  • Fish in the lake are stunned with a bug zapper and they float to the surface.  Homer then tries to chew on one and receives an electric shock in the process.
  • Homer turns a pig upside down and makes it walk across the ceiling.
  • Maggie is separated briefly from Marge on the other side of the dome.
  • Bart claps his hands and sets off an avalanche that buries Homer briefly.
  • Marge takes the children and leaves Homer in Alaska.
  • Marge and the children are captured attempting to return to save Springfield from being blown up.  They are shackled, put into the back of a prison van, and gassed to sleep.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above mentioned violent and disturbing scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Bart is dared by Homer to climb up the TV aerial on the roof of the house.  Homer then shakes the aerial shouting “Earthquake!” until Bart falls off and clutches at the gutter.
  • A dead body wrapped in plastic is dragged down to the lake.
  • The townspeople riot and approach the Simpson’s house with torches and weapons.
  • Conjoined twins threaten to hit their husband with rolling pins.
  • A pack of dogs chases residents out of Mr Burns’ house.
  • Homer and Bart ride up the side of the dome on a motorcycle so that Bart can throw a bomb out of a hole at the top.  Bart almost falls from the motorcycle just before the throw.  Their descent down involves a ride over a canyon where they almost crash.
  • Mr Burns tells Smithers that while he has never considered suicide before, it might be fun for Smithers to watch him do it.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Product placement

Several famous people were referred to or used during the movie including (but not limited to):

  • The band, ‘Green Day’
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Danny DeVito
  • Tom Hanks

Sexual references

There are several sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A woman at the Green Day concert exposes her t-shirt covering her expansive chest with the words “Not my boyfriend ” written on it as she sits on the shoulders of Principal Skinner.
  • Millhouse propositions Lisa with the phrase, “C’mon over, Lisa.  You can canvas me as long as you want.”
  • Bart says, “The girls may see my doodle.”
  • During “grace”, Flanders mistakenly says, “Don’t forget to thank the Lord for this bountiful – penis!?”
  • A potato chip is held up as a phallic symbol at Bart’s groin.
  • A reference to bestiality is made on the television.  Homer turns to the pig sitting on the couch and says, “Don’t you get any ideas……Should we just kiss to break the tension?”
  • Homer alludes to masturbation saying, “Give it two shakes and it’s playing with yourself.”
  • To the Inuit woman Homer says, “Thank you, Boob Lady.”
  • The Inuit woman whips her breasts around to indicate which direction Homer should go.
  • Grabbing his groin, Homer says, “Now Homer Simpson is going to show he has kahooners!”

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Bart skateboards naked down the streets of Springfield. 
  • Bart is flung naked into the window of the café while the Flanders are dining.
  • Bart is handcuffed to a pole while still naked and left to be teased by the locals.  He is then taken, partly dressed, by Homer into the café.
  • Homer sticks both middle fingers up in a rude gesture to the townspeople as he disappears down the sinkhole.
  • Two male police officers walk towards a door, kiss each other in a passionate embrace, and fall on top of each other as they throw open the door.
  • Disney-like animals help Marge and Homer to undress, revealing sexy underwear, as they prepare to spend some adult time together without the children.
  • Marge and Homer are seen kissing passionately in their wedding video and later on a motorcycle.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Bart drinks from a whisky bottle supplied in the mini-bar of a motel.  He ends up drunk as a result.
  • Homer refers to Alaska as being “(a) place where you can’t be too fat or too drunk.”
  • There is a scene in Mo’s tavern where the patrons are drinking at the bar and then steal the alcohol during a blackout.
  • Marge and the children are gassed with an anaesthetising substance while in the back of a prison van.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “Giant sucker”
  • “My heiney is dipping”
  • “You suck; shut up and play”
  • “I’ll be praying like hell on my death bed”
  • “Shut up, Flanders”
  • “The girls may see my doodle”
  • “…bountiful – penis”
  • “Oh my God”
  • “This is why we should hate kids”
  • “You suck”
  • “Those idiots don’t even know where we live”
  • “So long losers”
  • “You just bought another load of crap from the world’s largest fertiliser salesman”
  • “I’m happy here, screw Springfield”
  • “Give it two shakes and it’s playing with yourself”
  • “Thank you, Boob Lady”
  • “You shut up, no you shut up”
  • “…His big fat arse could shield us all”
  • “Now Homer Simpson is going to show he has kahooners”
  • “Thanks, losers”
  • “I’ve been taking your crap all my life”
  • “I’m a Wiener”

In a nutshell

The The Simpsons Movie is a feature-length version of the long-running American cartoon series of the same name.  The series has always been controversial, dividing its viewers between those regarding it as crude and offensive, and those regarding it as enlightened and funny.  The movie will no doubt do the same.

The main messages from this movie are the need to respect the environment and protect it from the detrimental effects of pollution, and the importance of family cohesion.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with older children include honesty and determination against all odds.

Parents may wish to discuss the real life consequences of violence,  lack of respect for authority, animal cruelty and poor eating habits.

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